Copycat McDonald’s Big Mac

If you’ve ever been to McDonald’s, you have tried a McDonald’s Big Mac.  Now you can create your own homemade Big Mac recipe!  The Big Mac ingredients include two hamburger patties, American cheese, “special sauce” (a variant of Thousand Island dressing), iceberg lettuce, pickles, and onions, served in a three-part sesame seed bun.

homemade Big Mac

History of the Big Mac

This famous hamburger was created by Jim Delligatti who owned several McDonald’s franchises in the Pittsburgh area.  Although not all Big Macs are made exactly the same, this burger is sold all around the world.

The one we have come to know and love became popular in 1974 with this jingle, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.”  This marketing campaign will not let us forget all of the Big Mac ingredients.

What is special about the Special Sauce?

The special sauce is really just a form of thousand island dressing. It isn’t made in McDonald’s stores anymore. It now comes in an airtight container that gets squirted out like you would a chaulking gun. But you can make it yourself! My personal version of their “special sauce” is a fairly close approximation of the sauce.  We really love it and you will too.

How to Make Big Mac Burger Buns

As you know, Big Mac’s have three layers of buns.  The McDonald’s Big Mac Burger buns are easy to make at home.  I use a package of hamburger buns but we are going to use some of the buns as the middle. So if you use a package of 8 hamburger buns you can make about five homemade Big Macs.  Cut the top off of the top bun to make it even, then use the bottom half as the middle portion of the Big Mac.

sliced buns for homemade Big Mac

What You Need for a Homemade Big Mac

You might wonder why you would want to create your own homemade Big Mac instead of going through the drive-thru? I personally think this tastes better.  If you are concerned about preservatives that can be found in fast food. making everything from scratch like the homemade hamburger buns and homemade mayonnaise, you know exactly what you are eating.


Here’s what else you need:

  • Ground Chuck meat
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Butter
  • American Cheese
  • Minced Onion
  • Pickle Slices
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Special Sauce

big mac ingredients

You will first season the hamburger meat with salt and pepper.  Shape into 10 thin patties.  Grill the patties to your liking.

Spread butter on cut sides of the buns and add to grill until it browns slightly.  Make sure the middle bun toasts on each side.

Add the secret sauce, lettuce, cheese, onions and one patty to the bottom bun. Top it off with the middle bun.

Then add the sauce. lettuce, pickles, onion and another patty to the middle bun. Top with the top bun and you are all set.

two homemade Big Mac burgers on a wood board

Love burgers? Try these recipes

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homemade Big Mac

Homemade Big Mac

The Homemade Big Mac tastes even better when you make this one at home.
4.98 from 35 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Burger Recipes, McDonald's Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 445kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 whole hamburger buns plus 5 extra bottom buns for use as middle buns
  • ¼ cup Big Mac sauce
  • 5 tablespoons minced onion
  • lettuce
  • 5 slices American cheese
  • 15 dill pickle slices


  • In a bowl, season the ground chuck with salt and pepper. Shape the meat into 10 relatively thin patties.
  • Heat a griddle to 350°F. Place the patties on the griddle and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, adding an extra dash of salt and pepper while cooking.
  • Flip the burgers and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until the juices from the meat run clear.
  • Spread the softened butter on the cut sides of the buns and place them on the griddle until the bread begins to brown. Flip the middle buns and allow them to toast on both sides.
  • Assemble the burgers in the following order: bottom bun, Big Mac sauce, onions, lettuce, cheese, hamburger patty, middle bun, Big Mac sauce, onions, lettuce, hamburger patty, two or three pickle slices, and finally the top bun.



How to Make Big Mac Buns

As you know, Big Mac's have three layers of buns.  It's so easy to make your own version.  I use a package of hamburger buns but we are going to use some of the buns as the middle. So if you use a package of 8 hamburger buns you can make about five homemade Big Macs.  Cut the top off of the top bun to make it even, then use the bottom half as the middle portion of the Big Mac.


Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 395mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 2.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lauri

    5 stars
    I like how real you are! This the first video I have watched of yours. You speak clearly and execute your recipie easy to follow and explain everything as your doing it. You should have a Food Network show about copycat recipes!
    Thank you!

  2. Chanel Pugh

    5 stars
    Can I put this recipe in my bullet journal please? If yes, How can I copy down a no-cheese no-lettuce big mac with extra mac sauce, onions and pickles?

      • Chanel Pugh

        5 stars
        I want to write the recipe without cheese and lettuce with extra mac sauce, extra onions and extra pickles. How can I copy down the modified recipe in my bujo?

  3. Samuel

    Do you have a recipe for the taco Bell cheeseburger burrito or mcskillet burrito from McDonald’s I loved them an they quit making them

  4. Belinda

    Just found this recipe. Will definitely try it as my family loves hamburgers! Just one note – Lettuce is not listed on the ingredient list. Thanks for your recipes -so glad I found you!

  5. Andrea Yeric

    Love the suggestions and I am going to make this asap. The Big Mac has always been a favorite and that is why this is an extra special recipe.

  6. Larry Doub

    The trouble I have with the Big Mac, they don’t use enough meat, they should be made with at least a 1/3 pound burger, with all the stuff and bun on them you can’t taste the burger.

    I would love to see the old school pizza and taco burgers from the 70s we had in school, as well as the original Bacon Cheese Burger and the New York Patty Melt from Hardy’s of the 80s and 90s, but the most, the Chicken Sierra Fillet and I forgot the other thing, oh chicken fajita burrito thing Taco Johns had in the 90s, omg they were to die for

  7. Patrick William Rich

    I love Big Macs and french fries and they are from McDonald’s which does have those very cool and modern PlayPlaces and that is going back to its classic 90s way.

  8. Ronnie's Crew

    I was a cook at McDonald’s during the time the Big Mac was introduced and you are very close to how we prepared the sandwich when it was initially rolled out nationwide. The use of ground chuck is spot on in that McDonald’s used ground beef that was free from additives at that time and not like the “pink slime” induced beef that is in use today across the industry. The patties were frozen and weighed one tenth of a pound and were placed on the grill in this state. The one change I would add is the searing process that McDonald’s utilized in pressing down hard on the patties at the 30 seconds mark after placing them on the grill. This created a crust on the face of the burger and also prevented loss of moisture from the meat. This is the only time you should ever press down on a burger patty.

    As another poster stated, we did utilize re-hydrated dried onions that were soaked at the start of the day. These were actually placed on the hamburger patty after turning and allowed to cook the flavor into the meat along with a good shake of both salt and pepper. You also mentioned the toasting of the bun which was a critical step in making sure the sauce did not soak into the bun. McDonald’s had a special toaster manufactured to toast both sides of the middle bun while also toasting one side of the top and bottom. Unfortunately, McDonald’s quit toasting their buns over a decade ago and the quality of their sandwiches has suffered.

    Thanks for posting these types of recipes as they allow our children and grandchildren to experience the exact types of food that we remember from our childhood prior to the big corporate takeovers of fast food that occurred in the 80’s and 90’s. I for one would love to see the same type of recipes from other fast food chains as the youngsters today have no idea how much better and higher quality the food of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s were compared to today.

    • Stephanie Manley

      Thank you for your detailed response. I will have to try making it with the dehydrated onions.

      Often I know fast food can be good, I think it often intends to be better than it really is.

    • eric

      4 stars
      We were told the meat was a mixture of chuck and round with a fat content of 16.9%-18.2%. Yes, they were a 10-1 patty 1.6 ounces each and we put 7 pieces of dehydrated onion on each patty. Well most of us did so we didn’t get yelled at. The meat of the quarter pounder was cooked for 4.5 minutes and the 10-1 patty for 2.0 minutes total. We did put a weight on the meat to keep them from cupping.
      McDs bought out all the potatoes in one region of Idaho where the potatoes had the greatest solids of any potato in the U.S. so good luck in copying those. The bun was higher in sugar than most store-bought buns but they were made by Rainbo and I got the rainbo man to sell me a tray of them once when I was in a grocery store.

  9. D'sMom

    Good idea on the middle bun! 🙂
    To get the minced onions that McD’s uses you can “Re”hydrate dehydrated onions by soaking them till soft in warm water.But drain them as soon as they turn soft,dont let them sit any longer than necessary in the water.Let them drain as long as it takes to get them somewhat dry,then place in a paper towel to get the last of the water off of the onions,then voila!Rehydrated onions! 🙂

    • stephaniemanley

      Great suggestion, I personally love the dehydrated onions, I think you always get a consistent flavor when you use them.

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